ALEC, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that is probably trying, if it has not already, to influence your state legislature by providing “model bills” of a distinctly anti-immigration, anti-union and anti-federal health-care reform sort, is also seeking to make inroads on education reform. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given ALEC $376,635 in grant money with these goals:
“to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.:
ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council and its membership is a select group of a not exactly educational sort. ALEC counts over 2,000 mostly Republican lawmakers among its membership as well as some 300 corporations including BP, Amazon, Walmart, Visa, eBay and the like. The funds from the Gates Foundation are to go to teaching ALEC’s members about, as noted above, “more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes.” Considering that ALEC’s activities are directed at getting bills representing its interests introduced into state legislatures, one should wonder what sort of “efficiency” ALEC-initiated reforms would lead to.
Also, it’s notable that ALEC now-Gates Foundation-funded goals talk about “teaching” rather than “teachers,” i.e., human being who are actually in a classroom teaching students. With their mention of “student outcomes” and basing compensation for “effective teaching” on “merit and achievement” specifically, ALEC’s goals are using language associated with calls for privatizing education, via “innovations” such as charter schools and online education.
Crooks and Liars sees the Gates Foundation’s grant to ALEC as a telling example of how “Mr. Gates and his fellow trustees fully embrace the notion of killing public education one state at a time.” Describing how profitable a business online learning companies are turning out to be — and how high the cost is to public education — Lee Fang in The Nation describes a talk that lobbyist Patricia Levesque gave to philanthropists at a conference in part sponsored by the Gates Foundation.
Read more: #OCCUPYALEC, alec exposed, alex, bill & melinda gates foundation, bill gates, charter schools, education reform, exposealec, jeb push, joe klein, occupy alec, privatization, rick scott, rupert murdoch
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